Dr Ulrich Schmiedel (MLitt, DiplTheol, DPhil, DrHabil, FHEA)

Senior Lecturer in Theology, Politics and Ethics


Ulrich Schmiedel is Senior Lecturer in Theology, Politics and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh. As Co-Director of Edinburgh’s Centre for Theology and Public Issues, he has written widely on political and public theology. He also serves as Chair of the Research Advisory Board of A World of Neighbours, a multi-faith network of actors working with migrants across Europe.

Ulrich is the author of Elasticized Ecclesiology: The Concept of Community after Ernst Troeltsch (2017), The Claim to Christianity: Responding to the Far Right (2020), written with Hannah Strømmen, and Terror und Theologie: Der religionstheoretische Diskurs der 9/11-Dekade (2021) for which he was awarded the University of Munich's Habilitation Prize in the Humanities. His publications also include the co-edited compilations Dynamics of Difference: Christianity and Alterity (2015), Religious Experience Revisited: Expressing the Inexpressible? (2016), Religion in the European Refugee Crisis (2018), Liberale Theologie heute – Liberal Theology Today (2019), and The Spirit of Populism: Political Theologies in Polarized Times (2021).

Prior to his appointment as a lecturer at Edinburgh, Ulrich was Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Munich, Germany, where he completed his post-doctoral dissertation in systematic theology (‘Habilitation’). He gained his doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford, after studying theology, sociology and hermeneutics at the Universities of Glasgow and Stirling as well as the Universities of Leipzig and Halle-Wittenberg.


MLitt (University of Glasgow), DiplTheol (Universität Leipzig), DPhil (University of Oxford), DrHabil (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Editor-in-chief, "Political and Public Theologies: Comparisons - Coalitions - Critiques"
  • Editorial Board, "The Church of Sweden Research Series"
  • Co-Chair, Religion and Migration Unit, AAR
  • Member, Steering Committee, Religion and Migration Unit, AAR
  • Founding Member, Steering Committee, Public Theologies and Migration Unit, GNPT

Undergraduate teaching

  • Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding
  • The God(s) of the Philosophers: Problems and Proposals
  • Metaphysics and Morality
  • Public Theologies: Thinkers and Themes
  • Political Theologies: Thinkers and Themes
  • Lived Theology
  • The Future of the End of the World: Interdisciplinary Interpretations

Postgraduate teaching

  • Public Theologies: Current Controversies
  • Political Theologies: Current Controversies
  • Global Concerns in Public and Political Theology
  • The Future of the End of the World: Interdisciplinary Interpretations

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Ulrich welcomes enquiries from students who would like to pursue postgraduate studies in any area relating to his research.

Current PhD students supervised

  • Andreas Bernberg
  • Whitney Buchanan
  • Tiffany Butler
  • Stephen Dolan
  • Anna Elisa Koch
  • Baily McDaniel
  • Stephen Noon

Past PhD students supervised

  • Dr Ryszard Bobrowicz
  • Dr Taylor Holleyman

Research summary

Ulrich’s research combines systematic theology with both sociology of religion and philosophy of religion. His research interests include:

  • anthropology
  • comparative theology and coalitional theory
  • ecclesiology
  • faith-based activism
  • history of theology, particularly the 19th and the 20th century
  • Islam in Christian theology
  • liberal theologies
  • migration and post-migration in theology, politics and ethics
  • political and public theology
  • religion in the far right
  • theories of religion

Current research interests

Most of Ulrich’s recent research has been concerned with the significance of Christianity for migrant and post-migrant societies, particularly in Europe. He was awarded a membership at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ, USA, where he participated in the interdisciplinary inquiry on religion and migration.

Knowledge exchange

Ulrich has been a public speaker at a variety of events. He often visits community and church groups for workshops. He has also contributed to a number of media outlets, both online and offline.

Affiliated research centres

Current project grants

‘Welcoming the Stranger: Resources for a European Multi-Faith Ethics of Migration’, Royal Society of Edinburgh (2021-2023)
‘Public Theology in the Post-Migrant Society: The Role of Religion in Multi-Faith Refugee Relief’, Lunds Missionssällskap (2021-2022)

Past project grants

‘Liberalism’s Islams and Islam’s Liberalisms: Constructing a Contrast in a Paradigmatic Period’, American Academy of Religion (2018-2019)

View all 68 publications on Research Explorer